Report: Lakers will pursue Kawhi in free agency
Mark Blinch / National Basketball Association / Getty

The rumor mill has come full circle.

The Los Angeles Lakers will pursue Toronto Raptors forward Kawhi Leonard when he becomes a free agent this summer, league sources told The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

Leonard reportedly preferred to join the Lakers before the San Antonio Spurs traded him to the Raptors in 2018. That apparent desire did not waver after the team acquired LeBron James.

O'Connor notes Los Angeles' trade for Anthony Davis could complicate signing Leonard, though. The Lakers would need to push back their trade call to the league with the New Orleans Pelicans until July 30 to clear room for Leonard's expected max contract.

It's also not certain exactly where Leonard ranks on the Lakers' list of priorities in free agency; point guard Kemba Walker was reported to be the franchise's top target immediately after the Davis trade broke.

Meanwhile, a source close to James was reportedly optimistic just days ago - before the Davis trade - that Kyrie Irving could still join the Lakers this summer, and it's been believed for months that the point guard wants to play alongside Davis. Irving and James are former teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers, for whom they played three seasons together and won the NBA title in 2016.

Report: Lakers will pursue Kawhi in free agency
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